I’m currently sitting in a colourful Muskoka chair in Ottawa’s Byward Market feeling sorry for myself. This is as far east as I am going before my Toronto to Vancouver return trip starts. Hard to believe five weeks have already passed since heading east. It was a great trip but I suppose all good things must come to an end.
On the bright side, I do have a return trip to look forward to. One with some pretty great stops packed in. With that happy thought, let’s break down my route with all the expected charging costs and stops along the way.
Ottawa to Vancouver – The Complete Route
Since my Vancouver to Toronto trip actually took me a few hours east, I am going to start my turnaround point in Ottawa. Plugging my full plan (broken down below) into ABRP, I am looking at a whopping 5,103 km and 59 hours of driving. This includes 3.5 hours of charging but does not include charging time overnight (ie hotel chargers and RV campgrounds). Total charging costs for that 3.5 hours is expected to be just $85.
Let’s look at what this means.
Leg #1 – Ottawa to Sudbury
After spending a day nerding out in the nation’s capital i.e. checking out the Canadian Aviation Museum and the Rideau Canal Lock system, I am heading west. In Ottawa, I will be staying at the beautiful Hotel Le Germain which includes free charging. I will then be overnighting with family for a couple of days near Gananoque and charging there.
Originally, I was going to take Highway 17 for a change of scenery however I want to make a detour to Goodwood Ontario, better known as Schitt’s Creek.
After checking out the hotel and the town centre where the wildly popular show was filmed, I’ll be grabbing some butter tarts from Annina’s Bakeshop and turning north for Sudbury. There I will be staying at my uncle’s place and trickle charging for a couple of days.
Leg #2 – Sudbury to Superior
The second leg of this Toronto to Vancouver EV trip is similar to the trip I took last year. Again, I initially wanted to take a different route home, this time through the States. This, however, still isn’t possible as the border (at least for Canadians) isn’t open. This makes little sense as Canadians can (and always have been able to throughout the pandemic) enter the USA by plane. Not sure how Covid can tell the difference but…
On the positive, I will be stopping to check out a couple of provincial parks in Northeren Ontario, the first being Lake Superior.
On my trip last year, I slept in my car and hiked at Sleeping Giant park and loved it. This time around I rented an RV stall so I can charge and sleep at Lake Superior park. I’m definitely going to be putting my Testmat to good use on this return trip! Full review to follow.
Leg #3 – Lake Superior to Thunder Bay
On top of hiking Sleeping Giant, I really enjoyed my brief time in Thunder Bay last year. As such, I have buffered in a few days to stick around and see more of it.
My itinerary includes hiking See Lion Rock and then checking out the 150-year-old corner store in Silver Inlet.
After that I’ll be visiting Fort Williams, once the worlds largest fur trading post, hiking Mount McKay, and then golfing the course right below it.
I’ll be staying at the brand new Delta Hotel on Thunder Bay’s rejuvenated waterfront. This hotel includes free Tesla destination chargers and free parking for EV owners. 👍
Leg #4 – Thunder Bay to Kenora
My next Toronto to Vancouver EV road trip leg is a short one. This is largely because I want to stop in at Lake of the Woods brewery. I’ve passed by it twice now and both times it was closed. Third times a charm? 🤞
I’ll be camping once again at an RV site (after a few nights at the Delta I think I can rough it for a night) and will charge using my Nema 14-50 adaptor.
Leg #5 – Kenora to Winnipeg
I brought my golf clubs with me and haven’t got much use out of them so will be stopping for a round in Kenora before hitting the road. I will be staying at the Mere Hotel in Winnipeg which has one L2 EV charger and is free to use for guests. The downside is it is reportedly ICED on the regular. Failing that, there is a Supercharger not far from the hotel.
Leg #6 – Winnipeg to Regina
After spending a couple of days working out of Winnipeg, I’m off to Regina. I hope to check out the Canadian Museum of Human Rights before I leave. Any other suggestions out there?
I’m picking up some friends in Regina to accompany me on the way to Calgary. Before leaving we are going to check out a Saskatchewan Roughrider CFL game which feels like a Canadian bucket list thing to do.
In Regina, I am staying at the Delta Hotel which has a Tesla Destination charger and is free to use.
Leg #7 – Regina to Medicine Hat
After recovering from a Roughrider night out, we are heading west with a stop to golf along the way. In Medicine Hat, we will be staying at the Towneplace Marriott Medicine Hat which has a free L2 charger for guest use. There is only one but there is free charging at the nearby mall and one at a Peavy Mart across the street.
Leg #8 – Medicine Hat to Calgary
After (hopefully) a fun night in “the Hat,” we will be racing to make it to Calgary in time to Kart Luge the Olympic hill. Yup, that’s a thing.
I’ll be staying at a friends place and trickle charging for a couple of days so should be leaving with a full tank.
Side, we will be in Medicine Hat on a Saturday night so if anyone has suggestions let me know!
Leg #9 – Calgary to Jasper
One trip I have never done, EV or not, is driving the Columbia Icefields road between Banff and Jasper. This is supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the country and I’m eager to check it out. I’ll be stopping at the Icefield Skywalk to take in the scenery and taking the tram in Jasper as well.
I haven’t booked accommodations in Jasper just yet but will be staying close to the train station as there is a free charger there. Other than that, charging options are limited.
Leg #10 – Jasper to Kamloops
Aside from driving the Columbia Icefields for the first time, the other reason I am detouring to Jasper is to drive back a different way. This does bring some challenges when it comes to charging. There are no superchargers on this 440-kilometre stretch so may be slow going. There is a free charger at Mount Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, but it’s just a hundred kilometres outside of Jasper.
Still, with a top-up there I should be able to make it to Kamloops with one 30 minute charge at BC Hydro’s charger in Blue River.
In Kamloops, I will be staying at the Marriott Hotel which has free EV charging.
Leg #11 – Kamloops to Vancouver
Depending on how I feel, the last stretch of this 5,000+ kilometre Toronto to Vancouver road trip is a direct shot home or a detour through Whistler. I’m sure I’ll be eager to get home after weeks on the road but I may also be sad it’s coming to an end. If I detour I will be stopping at Canada’s Horseshoe bend road just north of Pemberton for some photos and likely charging in Whistler or Squamish.
These are also day trip drives (and a beauty one), so may leave it for another day. As such, I won’t include this route in my totals.
Estimated Charging Cost & Time
Again, the total charging time is expected to be 3.5 hours with a cost of $85. In reality, this will be close to free thanks to some kilometres I accumulated through Tesla referrals. At the time of writing this, I have 2,895 free Supercharging kilometres. I have several referrals on order so hoping 1-2 get delivered before I get home!
Real World Results
Be sure to check back when I have my actual follow up post here. Until then, fall along with updates from the road through my Instagram stories.